Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Resources for Partners July 10, 2020

Resources for College and Work

As colleges are determining whether they will open fully, open partly or continue classes online, students entering college for the first time, or who need to bolster their communication and tech skills, may want to take part in Learning Ally’s free College Success Program for students who are blind or visually impaired. With a core curriculum that includes how to work with your campus disabled students office, it’s not to be missed.

Echoes in Design, Inc. offers a number of online courses for people who are blind, have print disabilities or other communication challenges. Echoes has been training online since its beginnings in 2007, and currently offers classes in Information Literacy and Developmental Writing for adult students entering or returning to college, Career Readiness for both new job seekers and workforce returnees, and pre-college technology and developmental writing courses.

The Digital Public Library of America says it “brings the wealth of U.S. libraries, archives, and museums to your classroom”. This is a digital library for researchers, students and educators, lifelong learners and genealogy research. There are primary source sets on topics like The War of 1812 and the American Red Cross. A search for items on blindness revealed pages and pages of books and other items going back to the 1800’s.

DPLA is a partner with Open eBooks, “a library containing thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for children from in-need communities. These eBooks can be read without checkouts or holds. The goal of Open eBooks is to encourage a love of reading and serve as a gateway to children reading even more often, whether in school, at libraries, or through other eBook reading apps.” Organizations must qualify to participate./

More Virtual Summer Opportunities

For blind and visually impaired people age 10-21 who want to Zoom in to summer activities, Our Space Our Place in Roxbury, Massachusetts has two virtual offerings in July and August. Afternoons from July 21-24, students Play with Sound and learn to mix and edit sounds, learn about careers in the field, and create a project of their own. Knowledge of accessibility tools needed. Then from August 4-7, spend two hours a day “stretching your imagination, interacting with others and increasing your speaking and communications skills” inTheater Camp. OSOP says this activity can even be done from your couch. It’s led by professional actors for both curious and experienced players. In the finale, showcase your own piece. Fees apply and enrollment is limited. Visit the Announcement and Events section of OSOP’s website to register. For more information, email.

In Museums

Seen and Unseen is a monthly series of virtual tours at The Noguchi Museum for adults who are blind or have low vision. Museum educators offer verbal descriptions and conversation, leading participants through interactive experiences. This month’s free program, Seen and Unseen: From Paper to Stone, explores the contrast between two important materials in Noguchi’s repertoire, paper and stone. “Learn about Noguchi’s artistic choices and the attention he gave to the nature of the materials he worked with.” July 23 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, via Zoom link and dial-in phone number. To RSVP. You can also send an email.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has an audio tour of its Hall of Witness and Hall of Remembrance. The tour, including tracks on how to get around on a physical trip to the museum, can be downloaded from the website.


American Foundation for the Blind is closing out its 2020 Virtual Leadership Conference with a July 13 chat with Haben Girma, disabilities advocate. Dr. Kirk Adams, AFB President and CEO, leads the conversation. Webinar begins at 1 p.m. with an audio described, transcribed, and captioned version to follow for those who can’t attend.

The ADA Turns 30

Philadelphia, like many other cities, has had to trade its in-person disability pride parade for virtual events, and it’s doing so big-time, with virtual Disability Pride Week in honor of the ADA’s 30th birthday. Associated Services for the Blind offered a screening of the film Going Blind: Coming Out of the Dark About Vision Loss, and a panel discussion filmmaker Joe Lovett, Dr. Ranjoo Prasad of the Scheie Eye Institute, and Lynn Heitz, ASB’s Director of Education. Attendees were given access to view the film upon registration, and then logged into the July 7th panel via Zoom or phone. Very clever. The conversation was lively and informative, and the transcript will be available soon.

Five years ago, the year of the ADA’s 25th anniversary, Marvel hero Daredevil, who is blind, was the hero of a Netflix series. The problem, no audio description, so blind audiences couldn’t fully participate. It took unremitting pressure from advocates to win Netflix over, but it worked and was the first show for which they offered audio description.

N.B. We are not able to check accessibility of referenced websites at this time. Kindly report any problems.